5 Easy Holiday Dishes with 10 Steps or Less

You know the holidays are coming when your schedule fills up and your to-do list grows longer than Santa's naughty list. Between shopping, parties, and traveling to visit family, finding time to cook an elaborate meal seems nearly impossible. But that doesn't mean you have to resort to takeout or premade frozen dinners to get food on the table. This season, keep things simple with these 5 easy holiday dishes, each with 10 steps or less.

1. Beef Pot Roast

  • Choose a roast with good marbling for maximum flavor. Chuck roasts work great in the slow cooker and become very tender.

  • Use kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper. Rub the seasonings into the meat with your hands so they're evenly distributed.

  • Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, sear the roast on all sides until browned, about 5 to 7 minutes per side. This creates lots of flavor.

  • The veggies add flavor to the pot roast. Use 2-3 onions, 3-4 carrots, and 2-3 celery stalks, chopped into 1-inch pieces.

  • Add 2 cups of low-sodium beef broth and 2 bay leaves. Bring to a boil.

  • Simmer until the roast is very tender when pierced with a fork, 3 to 3/2 hours.

  • Remove the roast and tent with foil to keep warm. Strain the vegetables from the broth.

  • Use a spoon to skim off most of the fat from the surface of the broth. Then taste and season with more salt and pepper as needed.

2. Baked Chicken with Herbs

Baked chicken is a classic, crowd-pleasing dish that's perfect for the holidays. This simple recipe with herb butter will have your guests begging for seconds.

  • Preheat the oven to 425°F and position a rack in the center.

  • Rinse the chicken and pat it dry with paper towels. Place breast-side up on a rack in a roasting pan and season generously with salt and pepper.

  • Mash the butter, rosemary, thyme, and parsley together in a bowl. Gently loosen the skin from the chicken breast and rub the herb butter under the skin. Spread any remaining butter all over the outside of the chicken.

  • Roast for 30 minutes, then reduce the heat to 350°F. Continue roasting until the juices run clear and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh reaches 165°F.

  • Let the chicken rest for 10–15 minutes, then carve and serve. The herb-infused butter will flavor the meat and leave your guests wanting more of this mouthwatering dish.

3. Tacos

Ground beef tacos are always a crowd-pleaser and so easy to make. Cook 1 pound of ground beef in a skillet over medium heat, breaking it up as it cooks. Drain excess grease. Season the beef with 1 packet of taco seasoning and 1/2 cup of water. Simmer for 3 minutes. Serve the beef in warmed tortillas or lettuce cups topped with your favorite toppings, like shredded cheese, shredded lettuce, salsa, and sour cream.

4. Spaghetti

For a cheesy spaghetti dish, boil 1 pound of spaghetti according to package directions. Drain, reserving some of the cooking water. Return the spaghetti to the pot and stir in 1/2 cup of the reserved water, 1/2 cup grated parmasean cheese, and 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Stir to combine, and add more water as needed to create a creamy sauce. Mix in 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese until melted and creamy.

5. Spiral Ham

A classic spiral-cut ham is always a crowd-pleaser for the holidays. Place a 5- to 7-pound pre-cooked ham in a roasting pan and score the fat in a diamond pattern. Stud with whole cloves and brush with 1/2 cup honey or maple syrup.

Roast at 350 F for about 10 to 15 minutes per pound until the ham reaches an internal temperature of 140 F. Baste with the honey glaze every 30 minutes while roasting. Let the ham rest for 10 to 15 minutes, then carve and serve.


So there you have it: 5 simple yet delicious holiday meals to whip up in no time at all. Hopefully, at least one or two of these options caught your eye and will make it onto your menu this season. The holidays are meant for enjoying time with loved ones, not slaving away in the kitchen for hours on end. Keep things easy-going and focus on what matters.

Contributed by Debby Star